• Challenge: Advertised vs. actual waistline

    September 30, 2010  |  Contests, Statistical Visualization

    waistline measurement chart for men

    Ever notice how pants seem to fit differently from store-to-store even though they're labeled as the same size? Why does the 36-inch at Old Navy feel kind of loose but the same size at The Gap feels like you had too many fries at lunch? Here's your answer from the Esquire Style blog. The actual size (from this über-scientific study, I am sure) tends to be bigger than the size as advertised. A 36-inch waistline actually means 41 inches in Old Navy units.
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  • Charted history of airline mergers

    September 29, 2010  |  Infographics

    Charted history of airline mergers

    Airlines have been merging, going out of business, and growing since forever. Karl Russell for The New York Times shows just how much change there's been during the past few decades:

    The deregulation of the airline industry in 1978 led to a wave of mergers that continues to this day. But even as the legacy carriers have been consolidating and growing, they have been losing market share to low-cost carriers. Two of them, SouthWest and AirTran, have just agreed to merge and carried the most passengers in 2009 combined.

    The thickness of each flow represents the share of passengers during a given year forming a blockish Sankey diagram. Brown flows are those that were absorbed by a larger airline.

    It looks like anyone who's not JetBlue, Southwest, or Alaska Airlines can only survive with mergers. I wonder why. [New York Times]

  • Exploratory tool for school admissions

    September 29, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Admitulator

    With thousands of applications, it can be tough deciding who to admit in to your program. The aptly named Admitulator, by Golan Levin, helps faculty sort things out:

    Admitulator 2.0 (2010). A custom tool for quantitatively evaluating university applicants according to a diverse array of weighted metrics. The pie chart is the core interface for sorting and evaluating applicants; it allows faculty with different admissions priorities to explore and negotiate different balances between applicant features (such as e.g. portfolio scores, standardized test scores, grade point averages, etcetera). Built in Processing for the CMU School of Art.

    Next stop: Match.com.

    [Admitulator via @golan]

  • Music listening preferences by gender

    September 28, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Listening habits by age and gender

    Last.fm intern Joachim Van Herwegen has a quick look at listening habits by age and gender:

    The sizes of the artists' names indicate how popular they are, while their position shows the gender mix and average age of their listeners. Based on the positions of the larger names, it’s already obvious which age category is most common amongst Last.fm users.

    With age on the horizontal and gender breakdown on the vertical, artists on the bottom left are those popular among young girls. Top right are artists popular among older men. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead appear to hit the universal sweet spot.

    I wonder how the graphs would vary across services. For example, I've been using Rdio for the past month, and nerd hipster music seems to be the hot theme around those parts. Hit up YouTube though, and everything is Bieberriffic. [Last.fm via Waxy]

  • Journalism in the Age of Data

    September 27, 2010  |  Visualization

    spendtime

    In the words of Terrell Owens, get your popcorn ready, because this video (below) is awesome. During his Knight Journalism fellowship at Stanford, Geoff McGhee interviewed visualization trendsetters on how they deal and what they do with data in Journalism in the Age of Data:

    Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?

    Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viègas kick things off with some of the work they did with IBM. Then it's Ben Fry from Fathom, then Jeffrey Heer from Stanford, and then Steve Duenes, Matt Ericson, and Amanda Cox of The New York Times. Later on, there's some Nicholas Felton on his Feltron Report and Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen, with several others.
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  • Who gets what if tax cuts are extended

    September 24, 2010  |  Infographics

    Your coming tax cut (or not)

    There are some major tax decisions to be made soon, and they'll affect you differently, depending on what bracket you're in. Bill Marsh of The New York Times takes a stab at showing the differences. The American population is put into context with a hypothetical population of 1,000. For example, if America was a population of 1,000 people, 125 of them would make less than $10,000. Piles of Benjamins shows average size of the 2011 tax cuts.

    We saw the same tax topic explored by The Washington Post, except their's was interactive and showed costs with Obama's proposed plan. Which one works better? My vote is for NYT. It takes up a lot more space, but it's much more straightforward and to the point.

    [New York Times via Cool Infographics]

  • Augmented reality atlas

    September 24, 2010  |  Misc. Visualization

    Augmented reality atlas

    The mockup examples are more cool factor than useful in this augmented reality book by Mark Lukas, but I'm sure an extra dimension could be of use somehow. I'm just not quite sure how yet. Watch the demo below.
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  • Expense visualizer

    September 23, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    Canada expense visualizer

    In an effort to make Canadian government expense data more accessible, FFunction designed the Expense Visualizer. A slider on top lets you filter by time, and small graphs show spending by different departments. Rearrange panels as you wish, and select among several scaling options as absolute values or relative. Bookmark your custom views or send them to others.

    It took two years to make, but I'm pretty sure most of that time was waiting for all the groups to publish their data since the implementation itself is fairly straightforward.

    A vertical axis probably would've been useful to see the values more easily. Or even better, a display of values as you rollover the graphs (like this).

    [Thanks, Sébastien]

  • Europe geographically stereotyped

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    Europe According to the United States of America

    We tend to see the world in different ways, depending on what part of the world we live in. If you've never been to California, you probably associate it with Hollywood and surfers. If you've never been to the midwest, you think corn and potatoes. Of course, these regions have much more going for them and are a far more varied. Still, the stereotypes are amusing. I couldn't help but chuckle when an old roommate came from Washington to Los Angeles and thought he was going to see movie stars on every block. Boy, was he surprised. It was only every other block.

    Graphic designer Yanko Tsvetkov takes such notions of Europe in his series of stereotype maps, which themselves are stereotypes of stereotypes. The above is how the US sees Europe.
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  • History of the Blitz bombings

    September 22, 2010  |  Mapping

    historypin - the blitz

    In September 1940, Nazi Germany began bombing London for 76 consecutive nights in what is now known as The Blitz. There was tons of destruction obviously, but you'd never know it looking at the streets in current day. Historypin, which launched a few months back, places this important history in their most recent collection. Old pictures are pinned on top of a Google Maps street view so that you can see the destruction of the past and what the street looks like now.
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  • Tune in live to Data Visualization and Infographics meetup

    September 21, 2010  |  News, Visualization

    The NY Data Visualization and Infographics meetup is about to start, and you can tune in to the livecast below. It's 4:20pm PST right now, so they'll probably be starting soon. They've got a good speaking lineup, so it should be interesting.
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  • Bore hole for Chilean miners

    September 21, 2010  |  Infographics

    Bore hole for miners in Chile

    As most of you know, there are 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,230 feet underground. That's about two Eifel Towers, and it's going to be a few months before they're rescued. In the meantime, the necessities of life are being sent down to the miners through a 3-inch bore hole. This simple graphic/cutout from Newsweek provide some perspective. [Newsweek]

  • Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    September 20, 2010  |  Mapping

    Race and ethnicity mapped by block

    Instead of breaking up demographics by defined boundaries, Bill Rankin uses dots to show the more subtle changes across neighborhoods in a map of Chicago using block-specific data US Census.

    Any city-dweller knows that most neighborhoods don't have stark boundaries. Yet on maps, neighborhoods are almost always drawn as perfectly bounded areas, miniature territorial states of ethnicity or class. This is especially true for Chicago, where the delimitation of Chicago's official “community areas” in the 1920s was one of the hallmarks of the famous Chicago School of urban sociology.

    Each dot represents 25 people of the map color's corresponding ethnicity.

    Eric Fischer, who has made a map or two, takes the next step and applies the same method to forty major cities. Here are the maps for Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, respectively. Same color-coding applies. You definitely see the separation, but zoom and you much more subtle transitions.
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  • Electronic Medical Records by the numbers

    September 17, 2010  |  Infographics

    Electronic medical health care

    In 2009, legislation mandated that doctors make use of electronic medical records by 2013 to help make the healthcare process run smoother and more efficiently. This information video (below) produced by HonestPancake explains the basics of the why and how. It's also sort of an advertisement for GE Healthcare's Centricity Advance.
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  • History of the Iraq War through Wikipedia edits

    September 16, 2010  |  Data Art

    Iraq Wikipedia edits in book form

    Through high school and sometimes beyond we're taught history as absolute fact. It's in the books so it happened. A lot of it is true, but there are often disagreements, as history can look different depending on your point of view. In The Iraq War: A Historiography of Wikipedia Changelogs, James Bridle places 12,000 changes and almost 7,000 pages for the corresponding Wikipedia entry in book form. Sometimes history isn't so straightforward. [booktwo]

  • The state of mapping APIs

    September 15, 2010  |  Mapping, Software

    O'Reilly Radar surveys the state of mapping APIs from old sources (like Google) and new ones (like CloudMade). Spoiler alert: there's a lot of opportunity out there.

    Maps took over the web in mid-2005, shortly after the first Where 2.0 conference. They quickly moved from fancy feature to necessary element of any site that contained even a trace of geographic content. Today we're amidst another location and mapping revolution, with mobile making its impact on the web. And with it, we're seeing even more geo services provided by both the old guard and innovative new mapping platforms.

    [O'Reilly Radar]

  • Evolving path of the Mississippi River

    September 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    Evolution of the Mississippi River

    We often think of rivers as following a given path for the course of its life, but really, the path changes over time as the flow cuts into the earth. The water flows through old and new and back again. In 1944, cartographer Harold Fisk mapped the current Mississippi River. It's the white trail. Then Fisk used old geological maps to display old paths. They're the old colored paths. And what you get is this long run of windy, snake-like things. [Twisted History | Thanks, Michael]

  • Where your neighbors commute to and from

    September 14, 2010  |  Mapping

    Mapping where people commute from

    Some people live in areas where a one-hour commute both ways is common, while others practically live across the street from their workplaces. Engineer slash designer Harry Kao has an interactive look at commuting by zip code:

    In Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), the author states that commute times throughout history have remained steady at roughly a half hour in each direction. Advances in transportation technology (our feet, horses, bicycles, trains, automobiles, flying cars, etc.) allow us to live farther from where we work. This got me thinking about my own commute from Berkeley to San Francisco, how it compares to those of my neighbors, and how commutes vary across the country.

    Using commute data from Census Transportation Planning Package and travel times from the Google Maps API, an interactive map lets you see where people in your area commute to or from. Enter your zip code and explore.
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  • Illustration of ideas and concepts

    September 13, 2010  |  Infographics

    In a different take on the infographic, RSA Animate illustrates the ideas and concepts proposed by invited speakers at RSA lectures. A recorded audio version lecture runs in the background a hand, possibly the same hand who played Thing on the Addams Family, draws what the lecturer is saying.

    Below is the illustrated version of Professor Phillip Zimbardo's lecture on the secret powers of time. The original video of Zimbardo speaking at a podium follows. Same message, but very different visuals.
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  • Battle for Web supremacy

    September 12, 2010  |  Mapping

    Points of control - battle for network economy

    Blend Interactive maps points of control for the Web 2.0 Summit in the style of the Risk board game. Areas of the Web are shown as continents, and countries are the areas where major players have "claimed." Click on the movements button to see what areas each company has ventured in to, and click on icons to get more info. A more neutral-colored map might have benefited the paths and icons, but it's still fun to look at. And yes, the geography of the map is fake.

    [Web 2.0 Summit | Thanks, KM]

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